The physiology of predator stress in free-ranging prey
Date of Original Version
Ecologists have only begun to understand the physiological mechanisms underlying individual- and population-level responses of prey- to predator-related stress. Sheriff, Krebs and Boonstra advance this field by providing evidence that predator-induced increases in glucorticoid concentrations in wild female snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus) impact both litter size and offspring condition. They hypothesize that the glucocorticoid-mediated effects on reproduction provides an adaptive benefit: Mothers 'programming' their offspring to be timid and risk-averse in high-risk environments should increase their survival probability. This research illuminates the connection between stress physiology and population-level changes and demonstrates the surprisingly far-reaching impact of predation risk. © 2009 British Ecological Society.
Publication Title, e.g., Journal
Journal of Animal Ecology
Preisser, Evan L.. "The physiology of predator stress in free-ranging prey." Journal of Animal Ecology 78, 6 (2009): 1103-1105. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2656.2009.01602.x.